Monday, November 14, 2005

Shock, Borat is inaccurate

I'm sure that the majority of people are familiar with Sasha Baron Cohen. You may know him better as one of his alter egos, Ali-G or Borat. Well Mr. Cohen is in a bit of bother, because as it turns out, Borat isn't an accurate representation of the people of Kazakhstan. According to Kazakh Foreign Minister, Yerzhan Ashykbayev, Borat's recent appearance at the MTV Europe Music Awards was 'utterly unacceptable'. The Kazakhs are so upset at the portrayal that they are threatening legal action against Mr. Cohen. This isn't the first time something like this has happened. I remember the Brazilians making a similar fuss over the depiction of Rio de Janeiro in one episode of the Simpsons. In my opinion the Kazakh Foreign Minister should lighten up a little. Stereotypical caricatures that are outrageously over the top like Borat are nothing new. Look at Manuel in Fawlty Towers or pretty much all the characters in Father Ted to name just a few. Does anybody know of somebody who's opinion of Spain and the Spanish people changed because of watching Fawlty Towers? The same goes for peoples opinions on Ireland and Irish Catholic priests following Father Ted (very topical at the moment)? I don't and nor do I know anybody who actually believes that people in Kazakhstan act like Borat. Why? In my opinion, it's because the audience is in on the joke, we know its comedy and not fact. I'd also wager that anybody who actually believes Borat to be an accurate depiction of the Kazakh people, has never heard of Kazakhstan. (So, that's pretty much all Americans, I suppose). I also believe it's counter-productive to publicly condemn it as the Kazakhs have done. As the old maxim goes, there's no such thing as bad publicity. Just ask Dan Brown if you don't believe me. Look what happened with the Da Vinci Code after the Vatican condemned it


Auds said...

I thought the Kazakhstanis protested borat before - maybe they do it regularly.
I just love the episode where he goes canvassing with some American politician and asks people can he use their bathrooms and tells women to get their man who is able to vote. Everytime I think of it I giggle.

Eagle said...

I was all set to defend my compatriots, but I can't. Although I'm not sure Irish awareness of Kazakhstan's is much better than American, I'm sure you're right that the no American knows anything about Kazakhstan, other than my friend who's got a job teaching at Kazakhstan National University.

My friend told me that when he took the job nobody at home knew where the hell he was going after he told them.

Simon said...

doesn't kazakhstan have the third largest nucluer arsenal

Anonymous said...

The real Borat? What's your opinion?